MIDDLE EAST

Eurovision Village partying upsets nearby mosque worshippers in Ramadan

has found few fans in a famous mosque in the Israeli host city, where worshippers have complained that the gaudy festivities are disrupting their observances of the holy month of .

A "" pavilion set up on the beachfront to host parties is located directly opposite the century-old , named after an Ottoman governor and frequented by Israeli Arabs from nearby Jaffa.

The 41-country songfest has been a focus of pro-Palestinian calls, and some Muslims fasting daily as part of Ramadan resent the carousing of scantily clad Eurovision enthusiasts.

"It (pavilion) is in the wrong place because it is close to the mosque," said worshiper Sa'd Abu Zakariya.

"When we pray inside there is no feeling of solemnity because of the sound ... We stand here and we can hear the noisy songs."

Mohammad al-Akra, a Palestinian labourer from the occupied West Bank who prays at Hassan Bek, said "the Jews" were throwing parties "where people drink alcohol and everything".

"Because of the noise we close the windows and doors," said Abed al-Kareem Mohammad, another worshiper.

The Eurovision Song Contest kicked off on Tuesday and ends on Saturday.

In the West Bank city of Bethlehem, a small group of Palestinian protesters came out against the contest.

" is using Eurovision to distract attention from the crime of the Nakba," one demonstrator's placard read, using the Arabic term for the "Catastrophe" when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were displaced in violence that led to war between the new Jewish state and its Arab neighbours in 1948.

May 15 is traditionally the day Palestinians mark the "Nakba".

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